My wedding was over Memorial Day weekend. I stressed like everyone else on these boards for months. But PLEASE take my advice and remember that a destination wedding is supposed to be stress-free. My wedding was absolutely perfect - thanks to Ana and Dreams - so if you aren't getting emails back from Ana... chill out... as long as your date is confirmed, you show up, meet with Ana, plan everything you want, and have a wonderful wedding. They literally have weddings every single day. It was the best week of my life and I have the most beautiful photos and memories!
Link to amateur photos: http://jonandashlywe...shutterfly.com/
The album called "Welcome Party" was taken by the professional photographer called Aventure Photo provided by the resort as part of my package. (I wanted to use a different photographer for wedding so I utilized the one included on a different night).
We arrived at Dreams one week in advance of our wedding. We had 60 guests and choose the Ultimate Wedding Package (then added on per person for the additional guests over 20).
We met with Ana on Sunday one week before. She walked through the property and pointed out locations to have our ceremony, cocktail hour, and reception. We choose to have ceremony at 6pm at the gazebo (so I could wear heels). Other option was beach. We had the 1 hr cocktail reception at 7pm-8pm in a garden/grass area near the beach restaurants. Other options were beach, restaurants, patio around pool. We had the reception at 8pm-11pm on the wood patio between the beach and the infinity pool, this allowed for the most private reception as this area is separated from the regular pool deck.
The best thing about arriving early is spying on other weddings so you can note what you like and don't like.
Working with Ana on-site was great! She was always on call to answer our questions and we negotiated to get everything we wanted. Ask for low prices, everything is negotiable!
We planned a rehearsal for the day before. She walked through the ceremony with us. I instructed my wedding party when to walk with who and where we were taking photos, etc.
For the ceremony, I asked Ana in advance for the officiants contact info. Over email, we discussed the format for the non religious ceremony and included the sand unity ceremony. She also gave two options for a reading/poem that she recited. Perfect!!
For ceremony music, we brought an iPOD with ceremony songs and dance songs in playlists. There is a technician who runs the music for the ceremony. Ana gave him the instructions. Music for ceremony was perfect!
On the day of, I schedule my 5 bridesmaids and 2 mothers to have their hair done in the salon. I emailed the salon to schedule this. They did three girls at a time. The hairstyles were beautiful!!! Absolutely fantastic. And my hair and make-up was so amazing. I was extremely happy. Ana surprised me in the salon and brought flowers for in the bridesmaids hair. I paid for everyone and got 10% off.
I hired Samuel Luna Flash Portfolio | Top Mexico Photographers | Mexico Destination Wedding Photographer Samuel Luna
for day of photography. I wasn't impressed by the photographer the resort wanted to include in the package. Plus they are not with you for more than an hour or two. Sam was great!!! He is super nice, professional, on time! My husband loved working with him. I have not seen his photos yet as it takes 6 weeks to receive them. He was onsite from 4pm - 10pm. We took group photos before the ceremony to get them out of the way and take advantage of sunlight. NOTE sunset is around 7pm and it does not set over the beach so we took photos in the day light.
The day of schedule was flawless. I created my own agenda with times to make sure the wedding party knew where to be and when. Don't expect Ana to do this for you. I made my own time for getting ready, photos, pre- wedding. Ana takes over when it is time to walk down the aisle. For specific things, tell her what you want, for example, I asked her to deliver flowers at a certain time to my room.
We chose Dorremix for the DJ at our reception. I was worried bc my husband really likes professional international house music. We created a dance music playlist on our iPod for the DJ to work from. He started with our music and incorporated his own choice of songs. The song transitions were excellent. It was like being at a club. AWESOME! We also had our reception entrance songs on the iPod. The DJ was the announcer too. He introduced wedding party (the DJ sent me an excel doc to enter in song names and what is happening throughout the night like first dance, etc.). I made sure we didn't get behind on timing for speeches and first dance so we could have time for just dancing. The DJ also offers to bring a light-up dance floor, balloons, and glow bracelets, which are not our style. So we said no. But he did bring dry fireworks which ignite from the ground like up to 5 feet like a giant sparkler. Overall, very happy with result! (Music must end at 11pm due to beach laws).
For the food, Ana gave us standard buffet menu to choose from. We did not like the food options so she let us pick from an ala carte menu of items across all the levels of silver, gold, etc. price points. We built a menu I was really happy with. The food was average for a buffet. Not bad but not like super impressive. We kept asking for more in the planning process, so don't undercut yourself.
The night was wonderful! All my guests had a great time! You're in a beautiful location and all inclusive on top of that.
Other small things to mention:
- I made agendas for our guests on the computer. Ana printed and reception distribute to guests as they checked in.
- I scheduled a welcome party in lobby on Friday night. Since drinks are free, I basically just told everyone to meet at the lobby bar. I paid for nothing extra for people just to meet in one place.
- Half of my guests had travelers diarrhea from tap water in bathroom (brushing teeth or shower). Just use bottled water. You're in another country so it is hard to avoid 100%.
Overall, just relax and trust Ana. She is extremely experienced and I'd recommend this resort to anyone!! Best decision ever to do destination!